Oxygen Insider Exclusive!

Create a free profile to get unlimited access to exclusive videos, breaking news, sweepstakes, and more!

Sign Up for Free to View
Crime News Snapped

'Time to Go to Alligator Country': Woman Murders Ex-Husband and Dumps His Body in Swamp

Kenneth McMillion was found dead in a Louisiana swamp tied to cinder blocks with a gunshot wound in his back.

By Caitlin Schunn

Patricia and Kenneth McMillion were called “the perfect family” by those who knew them. But nearly 30 years into their marriage it began to fall apart — and Kenneth ended up missing before his body was discovered in a swamp. 

How to Watch

Watch Snapped on Oxygen Sundays 6/5c and next day on Peacock. Catch up on the Oxygen App.

“It’s very unusual to have someone last seen in Sherman, Texas. A car found in Dallas, Texas. Body found 450 miles away in Louisiana,” said prosecutor Kerye Ashmore on Snapped, airing Sundays at 6/5c on Oxygen. “And so, everybody’s wondering, what happened? Who did it?”

Kenneth and Patricia first met in 1978 and were married by 1981. The couple bought 15 acres of land and built a home before having their daughter in 1988.

“He would do just about anything he could to make her happy,” Tony Potter, Kenneth’s friend, told Snapped. “I don’t know of anything he wouldn’t have done for her.”

While Kenneth worked at a local plant, Patricia launched her own business as a seamstress.

Patricia McMillion featured on Snapped 3208

“They were a perfect couple,” said Bonnie Daun, a former friend of the family, to Snapped. “I mean, you got your daughter. You just built the house. They were a happy-go-lucky family.”

But by August 2007, when their daughter was grown and they’d been married for 27 years, there was a shift in their relationship and Kenneth filed for divorce.

“She had moved to a different room of the house,” Potter said. “It was like they had turned into roommates instead of married partners. He was trying to figure out what he could do to not have to go through a divorce. But then he started working the night shift and he was gone all night. It pushed them further apart … he was ready for it to be over.”

In the divorce settlement, finalized in April 2008, Kenneth was awarded the house and Patricia got $110,000 for giving up her part of the home and moving out.

Then, around 6:30 p.m. on June 16, 2008, a woman named Rhonda Hudson called 911 to report she was worried about her friend, Kenneth. He’d been staying with Rhonda and her husband, Phil, while Patricia moved out of their house. He hadn’t shown up for his shift at a local plant, which was unusual for him.

Hudson told dispatchers she’d last seen Kenneth when he was leaving to meet Patricia at the home they’d once shared.

Police discovered an incident report had been filed at the same address for earlier that morning, concerning a missing trailer. When Grayson County sheriff’s deputies arrived that morning, they found Kenneth, Patricia, and her old friend Harrold Ballard all at the property, as Ballard was helping Patricia to move out. Kenneth was accusing Patricia and Ballard of stealing the trailer.

“During the meeting with deputies, there were words said between Kenneth McMillion and Harrold Ballard,” said Harvey Smitherman, former Grayson County Sheriff’s Investigator to Snapped. “Kenneth didn’t like the fact that Harrold was there helping her. [He] ordered Harrold Ballard off his property and asked deputies to give him criminal trespassing to warn him.”

When deputies returned to the house 11 hours later to question Patricia about her missing ex-husband, she told them Kenneth left soon after Ballard that morning, and she hadn’t seen or heard from him since.

Meanwhile police, tracking the GPS on Kenneth’s vehicle, find it an hour south in Dallas, in the parking lot of a gentleman’s club. The vehicle was empty with no evidence in it, and Kenneth wasn’t caught on any cameras at the club. It set off red flags for police of foul play.

On June 19, 2008, three days after Kenneth’s disappearance, his body was found 450 miles away in a Louisiana swamp. He was face down in the marsh. He wasn’t wearing a shirt, he had ropes tied around his feet, and he had a gunshot wound to his back. He had been tied down with blocks.

“A person don’t normally tie cinder blocks to themselves and then jump in the water,” Smitherman said. “It’s hard to shoot yourself in the back. So, they knew there was foul play involved.”

Police determined Harrold Ballard was their main suspect because of his confrontation with the murder victim the morning of his death. When police questioned Ballard, he said he left town after being at the McMillion home and spent the night in Turner Falls Park in Oklahoma.

But his alibi quickly fell apart when police tracked his phone GPS.

“His phone pinged down in Louisiana the night he said he was in Oklahoma,” Ashmore said. “So, we immediately knew Harrold wasn’t shooting straight with us.”

On June 20, 2008, Ballard was arrested for Kenneth McMillion’s murder. He was with Patricia McMillion when he was arrested, and her reaction drew suspicion from police.

“Patricia didn’t appear to be emotional at all,” Ashmore said. “Wasn’t surprised at all. Didn’t appear upset.”

Officers searched Ballard’s pickup truck and found ammunition that matched the bullet taken from Kenneth’s back. With the evidence against him building, and the pressure of sitting in jail for weeks, Ballard’s lawyer told police he was ready to share what he knew

“Patricia, she was just a sweet person from the beginning,” Harrold Ballard told Snapped. “But it was a whole different person 20 years later. I regret still today that I didn’t see how desperate she had gotten…A real friend wouldn’t let another friend take the rap for something they knew they did.”

Ballard told police Patricia called him just after 9 a.m. on June 16, 2008, and said Kenneth was dead and “it was time to go to alligator country.”

“Harrold said that she had mentioned once before about, it’d be nice if Kenneth disappeared and alligators ate him,” Ashmore said.

Ballard drove to the McMillion home on Snap Road, where Patricia took him around back to see Kenneth dead. She never explicitly said to Ballard what happened, but “after looking at him, I gathered that she shot him,” he told police.

That night, Ballard said he helped Patricia wrap Kenneth’s body up in plastic and put it in the back of his truck. Patricia drove Kenneth’s car to the gentleman’s club in Dallas, while Ballard followed with the body in his truck, then the two drove to Louisiana.

“I convinced myself that I was doing the right thing for a friend, but it sounded like, ‘Oh, you should have known better,' but I just saw a friend who reached out to me,” Ballard said.

During his taped confession to police, they asked him if Patricia said anything during the drive.

“No, she didn’t say nothing,” Ballard told police. “Matter of fact, neither one of us said anything. We just drove in silence. I know that now I shouldn’t have done what I did, but I had nothing to do with Mr. McMillion’s death. That’s the honest to God truth.”

He later added, while in jail, he realized Patricia was going to let him take the fall.

“I was disappointed. I thought we had a better friendship than that,” Ballard said.

Unfortunately for Ballard, it was his word against Patricia’s that she was the one who committed murder. Police told Ballard’s brother, Joe, the only way to get Harrold out of murder charges was to get a confession out of Patricia. Joe agreed to meet up with her while wearing a wire.

“I would never guess that I would go undercover to solve a murder, but life has a lot of twists and turns to it, and you never know what you’re going to be asked to do or what you’re going to need to do to help someone that you love,” Joe Ballard, Harrold’s brother, told Snapped.

On July 19, 2008, Joe met up with Patricia in his vehicle. She told Joe the gun won’t be found, as she dumped it in Lake Texoma.

Patricia also asked to tell Joe something in confidence.

“Kenneth was just there by himself with me,” Patricia confessed on the wiretap. “I went ahead and shot him. I would’ve never dreamt that I would even go this far.”

The next day, Patricia McMillion was arrested for the murder of her ex-husband, Kenneth.

“Patricia didn’t like the outcome of the divorce,” Smitherman said about her motive. “She was still bitter that she had to move out of the house.”

In June 2009, she went on trial. Patricia’s lawyers argued she killed Kenneth in self-defense after a fight turned physical.

“Patricia gave testimony that she had suffered abuse from Kenneth McMillion,” Deeda Payton, a reporter for KTEN News, told Snapped. “Verbal abuse. She felt he was controlling. She even alleged physical abuse. She painted the picture that she was afraid for her life, that she had the .22 [gun], and that there was some sort of scuffle.”

But the couple’s daughter testified at her mother’s trial that there was no abuse in the home.

“When you go hauling the body down like they did, and dumping it, most people who act in self-defense don’t do that,” Ashmore claimed.

On June 10, 2009, nearly a year after Kenneth McMillion’s murder, a jury convicted Patricia of his murder and sentenced her to 80 years in prison. She’s currently serving that sentence at the Carol Young Complex in Texas.

“The number one victim is their daughter,” Cecil Mallory, a friend of Kenneth’s said to Snapped. “Not only did she lose a father, she’s lost her mother.”

In August 2009, Ballard took a plea deal for helping police, and was sentenced to 10 years of probation.

Watch new episodes of Snapped on Sundays at 6/5c on Oxygen. You can stream episodes here.

Read more about: